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Is there a distinction we could make between the terms for "the priest who is hearing confession" and "the Orthodox Christian who is confessing" rather than use "confessor" for each? When I hear "confessor" I think of the priest, as in "Father-Confessor." Are there variances between traditions? —magda (talk) 15:55, May 24, 2006 (CDT)


It would seem that the "seal of the confessional", i.e., the confidentiality pertaining to the content of one's confession, has not always been considered absolute in all of Orthodoxy. I seem to recall that, under the czars, a priest was required to report if a penitent confessed to trying to kill the czar. --Fr Lev 17:59, June 4, 2009 (UTC)

Indeed. That's right out of the Spiritual Regulation of Czar Peter "the Great," signed into law in 1721. It wasn't just plotting to kill the czar, but indicating an intention to commit any illegal act.
This is probably worth mentioning, though it's more valuable in terms of being a distortion of Church tradition rather than an expression of it. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 19:37, June 4, 2009 (UTC)

St John Ladder

"At no time do we find God revealing the sins which have been confessed to Him, lest by making these public knowledge, He should impede those who would confess and so make them incurably sick." St. John of the Ladder, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, trans. Fr. Lazarus Moore (Brookline, MA: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1979), p. 243.

I looked up this quote, and it doesn't exist in Fr Lazarus Moore's translation. According to this: "This homily is missing from the English translation of Fr. Lazarus Moore, but can be found in the English translation of Holy Transfiguration Monastery"